Do you ever stop to wonder why you do what you do? Why do you get up when you do? Why do you eat the things you do? Why do you hang around the people who you do?
I think this every morning when my kids wake up at 5:30 a.m. Why do they get up early? Why don’t I go to bed earlier in anticipation? There are so many mysteries. My (then) 5-year-old son, while on a trip to the airport one day, wondered why people smoke. That was random. Answers to that question vary, but even he understands there needs to be a reason for things.
I know the default answer is “because” but that is not the answer. There are reasons for everything. It is just that people aren’t always honest about why they do what they do.
The thing we need to understand about God is that He sees and knows all. God cannot be fooled like the people around you in your life can.
The Outside and Inside must Match
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. – Proverbs 21:3
This is what many of people do before God. There is a thought that if I go to church sometimes, then I have done my duty for God. It is somehow assumed that showing up and sitting in a pew or coming to youth group, somehow makes you a Christian. Well, it doesn’t.
We went to the aquarium last week in Boston with the kids. Let’s say that I jumped into the aquarium and started swimming with the fish. Does that make me a fish? No. I am swimming with fish, but I am not a fish. In order for that to happen, I would need to change drastically.
With God it can be the same sort of dynamic. We go to him and say, look at what I have done for you. I go to church, I help with VBS, I read my devotions most days, I try to be nice. Do you know what God says? ”Keep your sacrifice, I want your heart.” He would rather you stop acting like a Christian and be one.
In recent years we were reminded about the Titanic. We could use the Titanic as another picture of this. There was a ship that was supposedly unsinkable that sank. Why? Because the ship was going too fast in water where icebergs were known to be. The outside of the ship did not match the inside. The captain (inside) thought it was fine to go that fast, but the ship (outside) didn’t agree. When that happens, it sinks and people die.
If your outside and inside doesn’t match, your life will have the same problem. You will sink and ultimately there is spiritual death when people don’t follow Jesus Christ.
Motives Must Line Up with Action
Are you ever kind to someone you think doesn’t deserve it, or hasn’t been kind to you? Do you ever give to someone just because, without pretense or expectations of something in return?
There are motives for everything we do.
All a man’s ways seem right to him,
but the LORD weighs the heart. – Proverbs 21:2
My ways always seem like the right ways, or else why would I do them? But, it is God who actually decides if it is good or not. God is the only standard. That means I can’t look at my life and say that I have done pretty good. Instead, the true measurement comes from God in His Word.
Motives aren’t necessarily evil, we just need to be honest about why we do what we do.
So, why do you do what you do? Do you love God, or do you just want to go through the motions to make people happy? It is time to get real, don’t you think?
God must be Honored in All
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD. – Proverbs 21:30
God is over everything. The world was created by Him and for Him. So, even when things seem to be going great for those who do not follow God, there is always justice coming.God, as the true, right, perfect judge, will set things straight one day. Our actions do matter and we need to understand that God sees everything.
You have the privilege of knowing God. God desires your heart, not a bunch of actions. Of course going to church is His will for you, but not in order to make Him love you or overlook your sin. It is to help you grow in fellowship with Him, through the ministry of the Word of God and others. It is not just an activity, it is a part of a relationship with God.
We need to have our priorities right. We need to give our heart to God. We lay it out and trust the God who created it all, to handle it appropriately. How is your heart? Do you love God? Are you committed to Jesus Christ?
This means asking tough questions. This means thinking about why we think, say and do what we do. In the end, the result is a closer relationship with God. It is definitely worth it.